Canadian Labour Reporter

May 28, 2018

Canadian Labour Reporter is the trusted source of information for labour relations professionals. Published weekly, it features news, details on collective agreements and arbitration summaries to help you stay on top of the changing landscape.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 6 of 7

7 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2018 CANADIAN LABOUR REPORTER ARBITRATION AWARDS The description had been in place since 1986, when the word- ing was finalized. Because so much of their jobs had changed over the year, the union requested the three employees be placed into the trades 2 (water-me- ter mechanic) class and be paid $36.16 per hour. The workers were responsible for installing, testing, maintaining and repairing water meters. Previ- ously, most of the work was done inside the Waterworks Oper- ations Branch shop, but most of their current jobs were performed in the field. "A trades 2 (water-meter mech- anic) exercises considerable in- dependent judgment in the tech- nical aspects of the work, with particularly complex problems or policy matters being referred to a superior," read the job description, and was staffed by "skilled work at the journeyman level in the main- tenance, repair and testing of all types of water meters." "A tradesman 1 (water-me- ter mechanic) works under the supervision of a superior and exercises some independence of judgment and action in the more familiar phases of repair work," according to the written de- scription, and works at a "below journeyman level." Kate Bearblock, compensation consultant, handled the review process for the city and it was completed on April 20, 2015. The union received two revised class specifications on April 23. However, David Fairey, job evaluation and labour relations consultant, worked with the union to evaluate the classifica- tions. "The evidence is that the sub- ject positions are required to perform all of the duties and responsibilities that distin- guish a trades 2 from a trade 1 water-meter mechanic; they therefore fit squarely within the trades 2 water-meter mechanic class specification and should be reclassified to that class," wrote Fairey. Arbitrator John Kinzie dis- missed the grievance. "I am of the view that the water-meter mechanic 1 class specification provides the better fit for the positions of Pinder, Bot- sis and McKeown and that that class specification is appropriately assigned or allocated to the trades 1 class on the parties' schedule A wage schedule on the basis that that class captures positions per- forming skilled work below the journeyman level." The union argued that because the job had changed, the three employees sometimes did more complex work and they should be compensated. "The fact that the incumbents' jobs may have them performing complex repairs on an occasion- al basis is not sufficient to justify their positions being classified at the higher level of trades 2," said Kinzie. "Their positions are only re- quired to perform less complex duties that can be undertaken by someone below the journeyman level. It is that job of work that has to be classified and the better fit for it, in my view, is the trades 1 class, not the trades 2 class which captures core duties at the journeyman level." The arbitrator also took ex- ception to the new descriptive language that excluded the words "at journeyman level" and "below journeyman level" and ordered "these two descriptors should be included in the first sentences of the nature and scope of work sec- tions of the water-meter mechan- ic 1 and 2 class specifications " said Kinzie. Reference: Vancouver (City) and Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1004. John Kinzie — arbitrator. Marylee Davies for the employer. Bill Pegler, Hasan Alam for the employee. March 27, 2018. 2018 CarswellBC 742, 135 C.L.A.S. 32 The system operated in 253 communities in the province, and maintained three terminals in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Al- bert. The union, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 1374, grieved the decision on April 17. "Section 212 of the Canada Labour Code requires the com- pany to give notice to the minister of labour of a layoff of more than 50 employees in a four-week per- iod. Section 214 and following sections require the establish- ment of a joint-planning commit- tee to address the decision of the company to lay off its employees. These sections of the Labour code have been violated by the com- pany," read the grievance. ATU asked for $500,000 in punitive damages, in addition to providing the proper notice per- iod for the STC workers. "Any employer who termin- ates, either simultaneously or within any period not exceeding four weeks, the employment of a group of 50 or more employees employed by the employer within a particular industrial establish- ment shall give notice to the min- ister, in writing, of his intention to so terminate at least 16 weeks before the date of termination of the employment of the employee in the group whose employment is first to be terminated," said the Canada Labour Code. However, the employer argued that this did not apply because the STC operated through three terminals and none of them em- ployed 50 employees. The union countered and argued STC oper- ated as a single "industrial estab- lishment" that was governed by a single set of about 130 HR poli- cies, for example. Arbitrator William Hood re- jected the argument of the em- ployer. "Damages for the viola- tion of section 212 of the code are awarded to the union in an amount equal to pay in lieu of notice on the basis of wages and other benefits for the 95 affected employees for the period of 16 weeks, less the period for which notice was provided, being the period from April 11 to June 1, 2017." As well, STC must "compen- sate each affected employee in the amount of $100 or $9,500 total for its failure to establish a joint-plan- ning committee in contravention of section 214 of the code," said Hood. The employer did operate a unified business and it must therefore compensate workers. "The employer held itself out as operating one integrated entity, a bus system across Saskatchewan," said Hood. "I have no hesitation in concluding that the employer was operating one industrial es- tablishment within the meaning of the code." STC also argued that some employees — those who received notice offering them to bump less senior employees in a May 2 letter and subsequently resigned — lost all rights under the collective bar- gaining agreement. "The employer says those em- ployees who elect to resign and receive severance give up all em- ployment rights. The right to be counted in the termination num- ber is a right under the code. That right cannot be taken away," said Hood. "It offends logic to propose those who resigned did so volun- tarily. A choice was a fallacy. STC was being wound down," said Hood. "There was no choice that avoided termination in these circumstances. Employees who resigned are to be counted in the termination number." Reference: Saskatchewan Transportation Company and Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1374. William Hood — arbitrator. Eileen Libby for the employer. James Fyshe for the employee. April 27, 2018. 2018 CarswellNat 1948 More precise language ordered back into position definitions < Saskatchewan transit pg. 1 < Job description language pg. 1

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Labour Reporter - May 28, 2018